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J Nutr. 2006 Nov;136(11):2791-6.

Epigallocatechin gallate and caffeine differentially inhibit the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and fat in ovariectomized rats.

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Department of Human Nutrition, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.


We conducted this study to determine whether green tea constituents, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, affect the intestinal absorption of cholesterol (CH), fat, and other fat-soluble compounds. Ovariectomized rats with lymph cannula were infused intraduodenally with a lipid emulsion containing 14C-labeled CH (14C-CH), alpha-tocopherol (alpha TOH), triolein, and sodium taurocholate, without (control) or with EGCG, caffeine, or EGCG plus caffeine, in PBS, pH 6.5. The lymphatic total 14C-CH was significantly lowered by EGCG (21.1 +/- 2.1% dose), caffeine (27.9 +/- 1.7% dose), and EGCG plus caffeine (19.3 +/- 0.9% dose), compared with the control (32.4 +/- 1.6% dose). The lymphatic output of esterified CH also was significantly lower in rats infused with EGCG (7.9 +/- 0.7 micromol), caffeine (7.6 +/- 0.2 micromol), and EGCG plus caffeine (7.5 +/- 0.6 micromol) than rats in the control group (11.6 +/- 1.7 micromol). Also, EGCG and caffeine significantly lowered the absorption of alpha TOH, another highly hydrophobic lipid. However, the lymphatic outputs of oleic acid (exogenous fatty acid marker) and other fatty acids of endogenous origin were not affected by EGCG but were markedly lowered by caffeine and EGCG plus caffeine. Caffeine significantly lowered the amount of lymph flow, regardless of whether it was infused alone (14.2 +/- 3.9 mL) or with EGCG (18.6 +/- 2.0 mL), compared with EGCG (22.2 +/- 2.2 mL) alone and the control group (23.2 +/- 3.8 mL). The caffeine-induced decline in lymph flow was associated with the lowering of lipid absorption. The results indicate that both EGCG and caffeine inhibit lipid absorption and that the inhibitory effects of the 2 tea constituents are not synergistic but mediated by distinctly different mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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